Australia’s victory at the United Nations belongs to our service men and women in Afghanistan and beyond; to our police abroad; to our aid workers and diplomats everywhere. These people are the modern global face of Australia. And the trust they have engendered in our country was wholeheartedly endorsed by the nations of the world last Thursday.
Testing our place in the world was a powerful and important experience for Australia, and worth every cent that was invested in it.
Australia had to make a run for the UN Security Council, having not served on it in more than a quarter of a century - our longest absence from this body.
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This week’s announcement by Tony Abbott that he intends to terminate Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council illustrates the profoundly myopic foreign policy of the federal opposition.
The abandonment of the bid formed part of a $1.2 billion string of budget cuts proposed by the coalition on Tuesday. In explaining the move, Abbott declared “there are vastly higher priorities for Australia right now than pursuing a seat on the Security Council”.
Abbott’s words, however, could not be more short-sighted.
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